How to Restore or Repair Corrupted AutoCAD Files

Tracy King updated on Dec 11, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

This article will introduces you several methods to restore lost AutoCAD files or how to repair corrupted CAD .dwg files when they stop working. Just free download the CAD file recovery here and follow methods to restore and repair corrupted AutoCAD files right now.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover unsaved AutoCAD files

Method 1. Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard > choose a location > scan > Preview and recover...Full steps

Method 2. Locate the .bak backup file > copy and paste the .bak file and change file extension to .dwg...Full steps

Method 3. Open AutoCAD > Tools > Options > check the location of autosaved files in Automatic Save File Location...Full steps

Repair corrupted AutoCAD files

Method 1. Open Drawing Utilities > Recover > save the repaired CAD file to your local drive...Full steps

Method 2. Open a blank DWG file > Run RECOVER command > select the corrupted files...Full steps

Method 3. Open .dwg file and type -PURGE > type R > ...Full steps

How Do I Recover An AutoCAD Autosave File?

"OK, this is the deal. Yesterday, I finally finished designing a bridge measure graphic with precise figures. And I remembered that I saved it carefully on my PC. However, this morning, when I tried to show my colleague the .dwg file, it wasn't in the folder where I used to safe AutoCAD drawings. How do restore the lost .dwg file in AutoCAD?"

It's no longer a new issue that AutoCAD users lost their long-time drawings without saving or CAD .dwg files corrupted on their computers. If you are having a similar problem that you lost AutoCAD files or your CAD files corrupted in PC, don't worry. 

Here we'll provide you with reliable and effective methods to recover lost CAD files and show you how to repair the corrupted .dwg files.

Part 1. Restore Lost or Unsaved AutoCAD Files

When you accidentally deleted or removed CAD files or .dwg files suddenly failed to work or open in drawing program, don't worry. You still have chances to get them back. Here in this part, we'll provide you with three methods to restore lost or corrupted AutoCAD files:

Method 1. Restore Lost AutoCAD Files with File Recovery Software

If you accidentally deleted or lost a local-saved AutoCAD file on your computer, you can first check the Recycle Bin to see if you can bring the lost .DWG file back.

If nothing was there, a wiser way that you can apply is to use professional file recovery software for help. Here, we'd like to recommend you to try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard which enables you to fully scan computer hard drive and find your lost files in three simple steps:

Step 1. Choose the file location to scan.

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Choose the drive where you lost files and click "Scan". If your lost files were on an external storage device, connect it to your computer firstly.

select the file location and click scan

Step 2. Scan the lost files.

The software will start immediately a quick scan for deleted files, and later a deep scan will launch to scan more lost files all over the selected drive. After the scan, you can use the Filter to quickly filter a specific file type.

scan the lost files

Step 3. Preview and restore files.

Double-click on a file allows for a full preview. Finally, select the desired files, click "Recover" and browse a location to save all the files at once.

recover lost files

Method 2. Recover Lost CAD File from Backup - .BAK File

When you lost a saved CAD file or an editing CAD file, you may also go to the CAD folder on your PC and you can try the below steps to restore lost CAD file from its .bak file:

Step 1. Go to the local folder which you use to store the CAD files, and locate the backup file with .bak extension.

Restore lost CAD from BAK file.

Step 2. Copy and paste the .bak file in the folder and change the file extension of the copied file from .bak to .dwg, hit Enter to continue.

Find BAK file.

Step 3. Click "Yes" to confirm that you want to switch the .bak file to .dwg. Then you can double-click the DWG CAD file in AutoCAD.

Rename BAK file to DWG file and restore lost CAD file.

There, your lost or unsaved drawing is back and you can save to keep this file on your computer by then.

If you have enabled the AutoSave feature in AutoCAD, and you lost a half drawing without saving, you can try the next method for help. 

Method 3. Restore Unsaved CAD files from Autosave

If you have enabled the AutoSave feature in AutoCAD, congratulations, you can directly restore an unsaved drawing when you closed the program or the file without saving. And here are the detailed steps for you to follow to bring the unsaved AutoCAD file back:

Step 1. Open AutoCAD and click on its icon at the Tools column, then select "Options".

Restore unsaved CAD file.

Step 2. Go to the Files tab, expand the Automatic Save File Location and check the location of the autosaved files.

The autosaved are usually saved under this path: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Temp.

Find autosave file location of lost CAD file.

Step 3. Copy the autosave file path and paste it to the Windows File Explorer, hit Enter to open the AutoSave file folder.

Open autosave folder.

Step 4. If you can't locate the autosave file, show hidden file extension by opening Options in File Explorer > View > Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" > OK.

Unhide file extensions.

Step 5. Locate the CAD autosaved file with .sv$ file extension, copy it and change the extension of the copied file from .sv$ to .dwg, hit Enter to confirm.

Locate and find autosave file of lost CAD and change its file extension.

Step 6. Then you can double-click the DWG file to open it in AutoCAD. 

Open restored unsaved CAD file.

You can choose to continue your drawing or save it to another secure drive on your computer.

Part 2. Repair corrupted AutoCAD files that fail to work or open

If the recovered files won't open or won't work in the drawing manager, don't worry. You can find wanted solutions in this part. 

Method 1. Repair Corrupted or Not Working CAD Files with Drawing Utilities

If you receive the 'Drawing file is not valid' error message while trying to open a CAD file, try below tips and you'll get your problem fixed:

Recover Command allows you to directly restore lost AutoCAD files when you delete or lose them. Here are the detailed steps.

Step 1. Open the corrupted DWG file in AutoCAD and click the AutoCAD icon at Tools column > Drawing Utilities > Recover.

The Recover option will repair a damaged drawing file automatically.

Recover corrupted CAD file.

Step 2. When the process finishes, check the repaired CAD file. If it's OK, save it back to your local drive. 

If the Recover option doesn't work, continue with the next step.

Step 3. Repeat to open Drawing Utilities and select "Audit".

Repair corrupted or not opening CAD file.

Step 4. Select "Yes" on the command window to execute the command and repair errors on the local drive.

Confirm to repair CAD error.

Then wait for the auditing process to finish. This command will fix all checked errors on your disk and AutoCAD program.

There, you can check the corrupted AutoCAD file in the AutoCAD program and continue using it again.

Method 2. Run RECOVER Command to Repair Corrupted DWG AutoCAD Files

Step 1. Open a blank DWG and run RECOVER command > Select the problematic file and AutoCAD will try to recover the file and open it.

Step 2. Open a blank DRW and run RECOVERALL command > Select the problematic file and AutoCAD will try to recover the file and open it.

Step 3. Open a blank DWG and run INSERT command > Select the problematic file and see if it will insert.

If not, run EXPLODE and select the inserted block > Run AUDIT and PURGE command > Click Save to create a new DWG file.

Step 4. Go to: C:\Windows\Temp for files with an SV$ extension and if find a similar file with the same name of the corrupted .dwg file > Rename it to .dwg format to see if it opens or not.

Step 5. Try open the corrupted drawing by using DWG Trueview.

If you can open it there, convert the drawing to an older DRW version and try to open it again.

Method 3. Fix Corrupted .dwg Files that Can Be Opened But Not Responding

Step 1. Open corrupted .dwg file and type: -PURGE and hit Enter.

Step 2. Type: R and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type: N and hit Enter.

Step 4. Type: PURGE and check all boxes > Click Purge All.

Step 5. Type: AUDIT and select Y to fix all errors, then hit Enter.

Or you may try the below fixes to get your problem with corrupted CAD files repaired:

Step 1. Open corrupted .dwg files and open a new drawing.

Step 2. Press CTRL + A and CTRL+SHIFT + C in the corrupted drawing. Basepoint is 0,0,0.

Step 3. Press CTRL + V in the new drawing and insert point: 0,0,0.

Step 4. Then save the new drawing.

After this, you will be able to use your corrupted CAD files again.

Bonus Tips to Back Up and Protect AutoCAD Files

Besides restoring lost or corrupted AutoCAD files, we'd also like to suggest you have a backup plan for protecting your valuable CAD drawings. 

Here are two practical tips for you to follow and fully back up AutoCAD files on your own:

# 1. Enable AutoSave in AutoCAD

Step 1. Click the AutoCAD icon at the Tools tab, select "Option".

Step 2. Go to the Open and Save tab on the Options window, check the Automatic save box and set the autosave frequency such as 15 Minutes between saves.

Click "Apply" to confirm.

Set AutoSave frequency of AutoCAD

Step 3. and click "OK" to enable the AutoSave feature in AutoCAD and keep all changes.

Enable AutoSave feature in AutoCAD.

After this, you can directly go back to Method 3 in Part 1 to restore lost or unsaved drawings when you closed CAD or lost a DWG file without saving.

# 2. Run File Backup Software to Automatic Backup Saved CAD Files

As for the saved CAD files on your local PC, we also suggest you back up them regularly. You can manually copy them to an external hard drive or directly apply a file backup software with a schedule backup feature to fully protect these CAD files.

Here you can try EaseUS Todo Backup for a simple file backup process. It allows you to create a scheduled backup plan to automatically back up desired CAD files and other valuable data on your PC in only a few simple clicks.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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